Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Great Bike Ride – Day 5

Friday, August 31, 2007

Everyone slept well in Hardin, so we were eager to get on the bikes and make the run to Yellowstone.

The first 60 miles were on I-90 into Billings, where we caught US 212 to Red Lodge Montana. This is a funky little town full of tourist shops and pubs, and of course a Harley dealer where everyone got T-shirts.

The main point of going to Red Lodge was ride over Beartooth Pass into Yellowstone. Terry and I didn't get to do this last fall as Beartooth had already been closed for the winter. Wow, was this some ride. Red Lodge sits at about 5,500ft of elevation, and the summit of Beartooth is about 11,000. The climb is steep and full of curves, but the view was breathtaking.

We then entered Yellowstone at the northeast portal, and followed the Lamar River valley to the center of the park. Along the way we saw several bison herds, but the main attraction was the scenery. At Tower Junction, we headed south for Yellowstone Lake. Terry and I never made it to this part of the park last year, and that was too bad because the lake is one of the most beautiful parts of the park. We even went into the lodge to see if we could get rooms there, but no luck.

So we headed for West Yellowstone to crash. Unfortunately, we got caught in a cold rain, and were pretty wet by the time we got our rainsuits on. At the hotel, we all grabbed hot showers, and walked to dinner – no one wanted to get back on a bike just then.

Tomorrow we'll start the run to Glacier National Park, probably ending up in Great Falls MT.


1 comment:

Sandy T said...

I remember the Red Lodge Highway -- from when I was 12! I still recall the spectacular scenery and the hairpin turns...
I guess that's why you went this way instead of Route 14...